Center for Health & Safety Sustainability/Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project Human Capital Workshop, featuring findings of PCSP paper, “Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics", (by-invitation only)
The Harvard Labor and Worklife Program's third annual "Capital Matters: Managing Labor's Capital" conference was held on April 27th though the 29th. Organized under the aegis of the Program's new Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, this year's conference was somewhat larger than in the past, with a total of over 90 participants, presenters, and speakers, including an increased number of union trustees. In keeping with the Project's aim of enabling trustees to become more active and effective, the opening session focused directly on what should and can be done in that regard. More so than at previous conferences, recent challenges to the survival of defined benefit plans both in the private and public sector have become a subject of intense debate while similar heated arguments rage over Social Security. For these reasons several sessions were held to assess the current and future status of those plans and Social Security. There continues to be considerable and increasing pension fund activity arising as a result of ownership of shares in publicly traded corporations. One session focused on a critical assessment of the goals for such activity, for example, whether the aim is to influence corporate governance (and in what ways) or more broadly to affect corporate behavior (and, again, in what ways) and challenges to efforts to achieve agreed-upon goals. [More]
On October 27-28th 2006, the Project convened a meeting on “Public Sector Pension Plans: Current Challenges and Future Directions.” Participants, presenters, and speakers included scholars and researchers, public pension fund trustees and officials, members of the investment community, union leaders, experts on public knowledge about and attitudes in relation to the issues, and others.
Attendees sought to enhance their understanding of the challenges that public sector pension plans face, including finance and operation and broader issues such as pressures on state and local finance, shifting demographics and workforce needs, and concerns of public sector workers about security in retirement. They also sought insights into how public knowledge and attitudes on these issues shape and are shaped by contests over the future of public sector pension plans. [More]
The discussion included trustees and officials of public sector and Taft-Hartley pension plans, pension and policy experts, union officials and staff, investment practitioners, and scholars. The meeting canvassed the federal policy landscape of...
On March 27-28th the Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project convened a meeting on “Long-term Investment Decisions: Assessing the Sustainability Risks of Labor and Human Rights and other Workplace Factors.” The meeting brought together about 45 people from major U.S. and European pension funds, investment management, advisory, and research firms, accounting firms, labor and human rights groups, unions, and academics. The goal was to hold a workshop-style event to exchange ideas about how investors can begin to measure a wide range of workplace-related factors and analyze their potential materiality to long-term portfolio returns. The meeting covered a range of topics, including labor and human rights in global supply chains; human capital factors such as employee ownership, teams, and high-performance work systems; and shareholder engagement actions on such issues. The discussion yielded recommendations for research in a broad range of topics; proposals for practical action by participants, such as the establishment of a network to exchange information and ideas; and the application of those findings to investment decision-making and possible engagement with corporations. [More]
The Pensions Project held its 7th annual “Capital Matters: Managing Labor’s Capital” conference on April 29 – May 1, 2009. Many of the sessions related to the challenges posed by the world- wide financial and economic meltdown but also the opportunities. For example, the conference opened with a European labor perspective on the impact on how the financial and economic meltdown has played out in European financial markets and economies, the diverse responses of European Union countries and perspectives on financial markets regulation. [More]
The Project worked with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) (with the Global Unions Committee on Workers Capital as a knowledge partner) to convene a meeting modeled on the Project’s annual “Capital Matters: Managing Labor’s Capital Conference.” This one-day event, “Capital Maters in Europe 2009,” took place in Brussels on December 10th. It brought together member-nominated pension fund trustees, trade union officers, pension and other experts and policy makers who offered views and shared experiences from across Europe and from a transatlantic perspective. It focused on how workers’ and their families’ retirement and other long term savings can be invested in productive assets in the real economy in a fair, sustainable and responsible way and not diverted into unproductive financial transactions and speculation. [More]
Among the topics on which this year’s Capital Matters conference focused were systemic risk and its pension fund and other implications, various aspects of pension fund risk management, a rethinking of fiduciary duty, an assessment of the success of capital stewardship, challenges faced by employment-based retirement plans and the broader challenge of retirement security for all households, and the new landscape of pension fund investment in infrastructur0 .[More Info]
This year’s annual conference featured speakers and panels on key topics, including a critical perspective on the operation of financial markets in which pension funds participate, the nature and implications for pension funds of the recently enacted financial markets reform legislation; the current and future landscape of those who provide financial services to funds, the relationship between pension fund boards and their staff, consultants, and asset managers, the progress and impact of corporate governance reforms, efforts to sustain public sector pension plans both currently and with any eye to the future, and the challenge of retirement income security for all households. [More Info]
The Pension Project held its tenth annual conference, attended by pension trustees from across the United States as well as from Canada and the United Kingdom. They were joined by scholars, researchers, and practitioners from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany. The conference explored a range of issues concerned with the relationship between pension fund investment and economic growth and job creation; assessed the merits of financial markets reform in the United States, especially as it pertains to pension funds; considered the rationales for and the import for themselves and others of pension fund investment in commodities; discussed a range of activities - from research to engagement - concerned with the bearing of S-factors, particularly workplace related considerations, on investment decisions; described new and important ways of rethinking the meaning and practice of fiduciary duty; and described initiatives in the United States by which public sector pension plans can facilitate private sector worker participation in retirement plans. [More Info]
U.S. Department of State 320 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20520
Co sponsored with the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Participants included activist pension fund, SRI, and other institutional investors, US. State Department officials and staff. [Download Agenda]